Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Power Of Your Tongue, Proverb 18:21

There are 23,145 verses in the Old Testament and 7,957 verses in the New Testament. That is a total of 31,102 verses from Genesis 1:1 to Revelations 22:21
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelations 22:21
In all those verses, there are many ways to interpret what each and everyone means. Without getting into the different ways people study or interpret things, I will just say that it takes the Holy Spirit to lead you to the truth.

That being said, there are many false teachers who haven't a clue as to what they are talking about. They take a Scripture out of context and believe what their lying heart tells them, because they truly do not have Christ in their heart. Take today's Proverb for example, there is a verse in this Proverb that has been used by television evangelists to rake in billions of dollars every year.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverb 18:21
The above verse has been used by false teachers the world over to convince their followers that they have the authority to speak life or death to situations! Intercessors and even believers have falsely been taught to speak/declare positive things in their lives, situations, church, nation and things will change based on the verse above. If that were true, wouldn’t things have been different in this country, peoples lives, church etc? Clearly, it is a falsehood.

It is regrettable that so many continue teaching and believing this lie! Interestingly, even the new age movement use this verse to propagate the falsehood that man is god and can determine their own situation by speaking positive and being positive in life and mother nature (whoever that is) will be gracious to them! Really? Let’s not be deceived my friends!

As a disclaimer, I was accused of using this tactic in a commentary I wrote, "Control Your Anger Christian". In the post I used the phrase of positive thinking, but not in the way I was accused. I used it in the context of having faith that God will do what is right for you, and what He promised to do in the Scriptures. In the context I was writing about failing, but still being positive instead if becoming depressed and giving up. Be positive in a faithful way that God will always help you through any situation you find yourself in. I did not use it to convey, nor was it meant to support the idea, that the power of positive thinking is all you need in life.

God does want us to think positive, but not in a way that puts that feeling above your faith through Christ, but in a way to know that the things we are promised God He will come through on. Maybe I should have just used the word faith, but as a writer I find myself trying not to over use a word when I can convey the same message in another way. Christ will return one day, and you can take that to the bank.

In the vastness of words I use, I will admit that I could at times be more selective in how I use them. I do advise, and look forward to anyone who may want to ask me to explain what I mean if what I wrote is not as clear as it should have been. However, I do not believe in the power of positive or negative feelings, I believe in the Power of God through Christ using the Holy Spirit that indwells the believers. I know for a fact, and yes I am positively in agreement with the Scriptures that promise us things and warn us about things throughout the Bible.

So, all that being said, what does Proverb 18:21 mean? Here are some verses that will shed light on the verse above and explain the meaning conclusively. Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

“The tongue” is used throughout Scripture in both literal and metaphorical ways, especially in Psalms, Proverbs, and James. The tongue is a “small part of the body” (James 3:5), yet Proverbs 18:21 says it “has the power of life and death.” This holds true whether we’re speaking of spiritual, physical, or emotional “life and death.”

The phrase, “The tongue”, is used throughout Scripture in both literal and metaphorical ways, especially in Psalms, Proverbs, and James. The tongue is a “small part of the body” (James 3:5), yet Proverbs 18:21 says it “has the power of life and death.” This holds true whether we’re speaking of spiritual, physical, or emotional “life and death.”

What our tongue produces has eternal implications, for it reveals what is in our heart. Jesus said that “the good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him” (Matthew 12:35). Isaiah places words on par with actions for displaying a sinful heart (Isaiah 59:2-3). “Men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36). In and of ourselves, we are utterly unable to “tame the tongue” because “it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). A tongue under control is a mark of the Spirit’s power. Apart from accepting Jesus’ atonement on the cross, we will be judged according to our words: “For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37).

In order to take Proverbs 18:21 literally – that the tongue can cause physical life and death – we do not need to tax our imagination. Words create actions, good and bad. A judge or jury, by simply saying a word, can cause a person to be killed or to live. Words often save lives: a doctor advises surgery, a weatherman issues a tornado warning, a counselor gives hope to a suicidal person. Conversely, words can also kill: murders are often initiated because of arguments or verbalized hatred. In the sense of causing action, then, the tongue does indeed have the power of life and death.

Emotions are powerfully affecting, yet they are vulnerable to injury. James describes the tongue as “a fire” (James 3:6) – and who has not been burned by it? Proverbs 15:4 describes a “healing” tongue as “a tree of life.” As much as love is an action, what would romance be without words? Encouragement often comes through spoken words. So does discouragement. “Reckless words pierce like a sword” (Proverbs 12:18). The wound is emotional, and it is deep. What we say can have a profound effect on others.

God made us expressive beings, so we are nearly lost without communication. That is why we have audio recordings and Braille for the blind, sign language for the deaf, and writing for anyone who has something to say from afar. Indeed, speech has enormous implications, especially as a vehicle for sharing the gospel (Romans 10:14). Therefore, we are commanded to control the tongue, to “keep [it] from evil and your lips from speaking lies” (Psalm 34:13). A Christian’s speech should consistently honor the Lord: with the tongue “we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be” (James 3:9-10).

[credit goes to Got Questions?org for this commentary]

Here are a few of the Scriptures mentioned in the commentary above that may help you understand Proverb 18:21 if you are still confused.
Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life
Proverbs 12:13 – The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will come through trouble.
Matthew 12:34-37 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
Luke 6:45 – A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
James 3:2 – For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
James 3:6-12 – And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Proverb 18 (NKJV)

The Name of the LORD Is a Strong Tower

01 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
00 He rages against all wise judgment.

02 A fool has no delight in understanding,
00 But in expressing his own heart.

03 When the wicked comes, contempt comes also;
00 And with dishonor comes reproach.

04 The words of a man's mouth are deep waters;
00 The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.

05 It is not good to show partiality to the wicked,
00 Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.

06 A fool's lips enter into contention,
00 And his mouth calls for blows.
07 A fool's mouth is his destruction,
00 And his lips are the snare of his soul.
08 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles,
00 And they go down into the inmost body.

09 He who is slothful in his work
00 Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.

10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
00 The righteous run to it and are safe.
11 The rich man's wealth is his strong city,
00 And like a high wall in his own esteem.

12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty,
00 And before honor is humility.

13 He who answers a matter before he hears it,
00 It is folly and shame to him.

14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness,
00 But who can bear a broken spirit?

15 The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge,
00 And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

16 A man's gift makes room for him,
00 And brings him before great men.

17 The first one to plead his cause seems right,
00 Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

18 Casting lots causes contentions to cease,
00 And keeps the mighty apart.

19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city,
00 And contentions are like the bars of a castle.

20 A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
00 From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
00 And those who love it will eat its fruit.

22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
00 And obtains favor from the LORD.

23 The poor man uses entreaties,
00 But the rich answers roughly.

24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
00 But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

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